Landscape Design Ideas for Stairs

Do you ever think about remodeling your landscape to fix problems that are cropping up in your yard? Do you ever think about remodeling your landscape to create an outdoor entertainment area to share with friends and family?

If either of these thoughts has crossed your mind then consider landscape designs that include stairs. Outdoor stair construction can open up a multitude of possibilities for your property. Whether your landscape design plans are all about the amenities or they are more practical in nature, outdoor stairs can bring your property to a whole new level.

Reasons for Stair Construction

Erosion Issues

Many homeowners’ have problems with erosion on their landscape because the soil is extremely dense or they have a slope in their yard. One solution is to construct retaining walls to create different levels on the property which will deter water runoff. Incorporating a stairway into a retaining wall design to lead to another area of your property is a great way to take advantage of the useable space in your yard. Having varied levels within your landscape will open up new possibilities for entertaining more guests and distinguish between places for adults to relax and areas for children to play.

Landscape Variations

Steps can be the answer to a difficult lay-out in your yard. If you have a 100 year old tree or a small stream in the middle of where you want to have your patio seating area or garden then an artistic stair design that incorporates your yard’s unique attributes is a great way to tie everything together. If you have a rocky landscape you can get yourself out from between the “rock and a hard place” by using the stone to create stairways and connecting paths on your property.

Easy Egress

Constructing steps in the back or front of your home typically makes entrances and exits easier to navigate since most doorways are not flush with the ground. Stairs can also be used to connect pool and spa areas from outdoor kitchens which affords homeowners’ differentiated spaces to use that are held together by consistency in design.

Elements of Stair Design

Create a Grand Entrance

Welcome guests into your home with custom-designed stone steps that lead to your front door. Incorporate greenery and flowers along the path and up the steps to create a front porch that becomes a neighborhood showstopper. Utilize steps to walk down into your backyard oasis and leave the stress of the day behind. To create a true “grand entrance effect” in your front or back yard, consider using a curved design instead of one with straight angles. This will make your entrance look bigger and more elegant.

Secret Garden

If your landscape is a hillside, you can make it more useful is by creating steps that lead to different plateaus. Construct three to five steps and then design a patio area to the right and position a fountain or pond to the left. Continue up the steps and build and arbor to one side with an herb or rose garden. Depending on the size of your property the possibilities are endless as to what you can incorporate into the leveled areas that shoot off of your meandering stairway.


Stairways have the potential to create a more private experience in your outdoor living space. Even just a step or two down into your spa area will mean that you are less visible to neighboring yards. Think about the perimeter of your home, the height of your trees and fencing to decide how many steps you will need to achieve the privacy you desire.

Materials for Stair Design


The materials used in the construction of your stairs will look best if they match your home’s style and décor. Some materials are more contemporary in nature while others are suited for more rustic designs. It’s important to utilize materials that will stand up to the elements and not become a dangerous hazard when wet.


To further accentuate the design and materials used in your stairs install railings that have a unique flair or creative detail. Landscape lighting can also be incorporated into the railings and steps of your outdoor stairways for safety and the intriguing look of an ascending walkway with a soft glow.


Whatever the need or desire, your landscaped stairway can serve a practical purpose in your yard or it can be a whimsical answer to a purely aesthetic touch! Consult a Landscape Architect to learn more about how adding custom stairs to your landscape can make your outdoor space Stand Apart.